Masdar and Miral unveil world’s largest rooftop solar plant

By Scott Birch
7MWp project to be developed on 36,000sqm rooftop of Warner Bros Abu Dhabi theme park aims to open Q4 2021...

Miral, the Abu Dhabi-based leisure and entertainment developer, has signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) to develop the largest rooftop solar PV project at its Warner Bros theme park on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.

In a statement, Miral says that the project is set to become operational in Q4 2021 and will have approximately 16,000 solar modules across the park's 36,000sqm rooftop. Once complete, it will become the largest solar powered theme park in the GCC, producing nearly 40 percent of its annual energy demand.

As per the terms of the agreement, Masdar will provide a full turnkey solution for the seven-megawatt peak (MWp) project, including the design, procurement and construction of the plant, as well the operations and maintenance.

"We are delighted to be entering into this partnership with Miral to develop Abu Dhabi’s largest rooftop solar project," said Masdar CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi. "As per the World Green Building Council data, building-related emissions contribute almost 55 per cent of global electricity demand and optimising energy efficiency in the built environment is critical to achieving the UAE's clean energy goals.

"We are proud to be supporting Abu Dhabi’s 2030 energy efficiency strategy to reduce overall electricity consumption by 22 per cent and we look forward to leveraging our energy services experience to support Miral’s efforts of implementing energy efficient solutions across its destinations and attractions," he adds.

"We are delighted to be partnering with Masdar on this landmark agreement. Sustainability is high on our agenda and with Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi recognised as the world’s largest indoor theme park, it is the ideal location for a project of this scale,” said Miral CEO Mohamed Abdalla Al Zaabi.

"This collaboration is a testament to our commitment of harnessing the most efficient, innovative and sustainable systems across our developments on Yas Island, further positioning it as a top global destination for entertainment, leisure and business," he said.

According to IRENA and Masdar’s Remap 2030 report, renewable energy is now economically attractive in the UAE, with a 10 percent share of renewable energy in the total energy mix capable of generating annual savings of £1.45 billion by 2030, based on avoidance of fossil fuel consumption.

A number of renewable energy technologies, such as solar PV, wind power and waste-to-energy, are already economic in the UAE, the report says, with solar PV potentially competitive with gas prices as low as £3.44/MBtu.

“There is a clear financial rationale for accelerated and greater deployment, surpassing the UAE’s existing targets in the power sector. A 25 percent share of renewables in the power generation by 2030 could be cheaper to achieve than the current targets,” the report states.

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